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Forest Markers

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I know ths has nothing to do with benchmarks, but does any know of a way to find the coords of a specific

forest marker? I have the land parcel number and the marker number.Thanks RED INK

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TOWNSHIP-SECTION-RANGE

I do not think all the initial points are in there yet.

 

But for the most part it is mathmatically done.

From the Initial Point=0.

Each Township is a 6 mile square as can be.

But the Key is finding your Initial Point and go from there.

You did not provide that data so I can't give a ball park figure for you.

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I know ths has nothing to do with benchmarks, but does any know of a way to find the coords of a specific

forest marker? I have the land parcel number and the marker number.Thanks RED INK

I realize that only the major divisions are shown on topo maps, but has anyone here tried using those coordinates to look for section markers?

 

Patty

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I realize that only the major divisions are shown on topo maps, but has anyone here tried using those coordinates to look for section markers?

 

Patty

 

I've scaled coordinates from a topo map (using Topozone.com) to get coordinates for an approximate location to a Section Corner, particularly in remote areas, but once I'm in the general area, I rely on the Government Land Office (GLO) notes to find the corner. Section corners have never had a geodetic component associated with them, or goto description that can be located by looking at a road/topo map. As such, their locations as plotted on the USGS quad sheets can be sketchy.

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I realize that only the major divisions are shown on topo maps, but has anyone here tried using those coordinates to look for section markers?

Patty

Yes. In the US Benchmarks Waymarking category there is a Find Type called "Searched @ the location of a section corner". Several finds of disks have been logged with that Find Type.

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I've scaled coordinates from a topo map (using Topozone.com) to get coordinates for an approximate location to a Section Corner, particularly in remote areas, but once I'm in the general area, I rely on the Government Land Office (GLO) notes to find the corner. Section corners have never had a geodetic component associated with them, or goto description that can be located by looking at a road/topo map. As such, their locations as plotted on the USGS quad sheets can be sketchy.

Given that section corners are at the intersection of two straight lines, shouldn't their representation on topo maps be quite accurate?

 

Patty

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In most places I have always used the coordinates from TOPOZONE to search for marks and find them.

Some of these have been listed as BDT stated in Waymarking.

 

One key thing is you have to be able to read and understand the directions,go to or calls.

It can be quite a long discussion.

 

They are accurate to your Quadrangles.

Some are very precise.

The + in the corner means the section was monumented.

 

This is the BIG question I asked way back when.

 

If you go by the Law and explanation of the PLSS from the Initial Point and use math some of these are not where they are suppose to be theoretically and or mathmatically.

That is in the Grand Picture though and most of them I have located within the generalized scope.

 

In a generalized scope the marks are accurate within the limits of the quadrangles.

And the accuracy of the tools at the time.

And also prone to accidental errors as well as other errors,blunders and the likes.

 

I am not a professional though and have really only studied one Initial point in detail but have been to most of the west 1/2 of the United States one's and a few other pertinent marks.

 

So this is just my observations to the present.

That may change from time to time as I learn new things.

 

As far as explaining how to do the math you just have to figure out what measurements for your long and lat to use for calibration,what datum was used,ect.

There are many charts and tools for figuring as well that automatically figure that for you.

And your GPS will do it as well.

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We recently covered some of the issues relating to the PLSS in this thread. Calculation over many miles may usually get you to the right township and range, but cannot be relied on for anything precise due to the many irregularities and accumulated measurement error in the PLSS.

 

Patty's post suggests an important question:

How were the section lines determined on the topo maps? I had assumed they were from fence lines and other such evidence visible in aerial photos. That would be evidence that a land surveyor would take into consideration but would not be controlling if he found better evidence of the original survey.

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I know ths has nothing to do with benchmarks, but does any know of a way to find the coords of a specific

forest marker? I have the land parcel number and the marker number.Thanks RED INK

 

This thread has taken some interesting twists and made some assumptions.

 

First what do you mean by a forest marker, PLSS corners are located throughout most of the states west of Ohio, but they were set for all public land corners not just forest corners.

 

Second, you have what kind of a land parcel number and marker number? Private parcels can be defined by PLSS corners aliquot part corners, but most are defined by metes and bounds corner descriptions and are marked by state authority land surveyor markers. Parcels may also not be defined by a physical monument, but may simply be defined by a legal description.

 

You will have to give us more information to help you out.

 

Patty & Bill,

 

The section corners defined on USGS Topo maps were computed by the USGS based upon physical evidence on the ground and by the original GLO records to define the corners not physically found. A + on a quad does not necessarily mean that an actual corner was found, but could have been a fence intersection, pile of rocks, pipe or other physical object found on the ground and used to define a corner for the mapping purposes. These were not generally land surveyors that went out and ID'd the corners and so were not official surveys.

 

Patty,

The section corners do appear to be intersections of straight lines, but are not in fact. The lines in each direction from a section corner generally have bearing breaks between them. What Kawenah is saying is that the PLSS corners for the most part do not have high order coordinates attributed to them from any geodetic or control surveys and so they cannot be found by looking in a database. Which I agree for the most part, but the BLM has been working on the Geographic Coordinate Data Base for many years now and they have attributed geodetic positions to the PLSS corners, but these are a computed value, not an absolute value. They are based on digitizing the USGS quads for controlling the original notes and then ultimately controlling all of the corners; the problem is that if poor control is used then the computed values are just as bad if not worse. Many areas of the country are working on improving this data base and getting more accurate positions all the time.

 

So using the USGS quad for coordinates in many areas will get you very close to finding the original evidence and then as Kawenah states, using the GLO notes you can look for the original stone, post, brass cap, bearing objects or subsequent objects because much as we do with the NGS data sheet, you will have all of the information to know what you are looking for. In some areas of the country the USGS quad coordinates will be hundreds of feet from their true positions, so you do need to do your homework to find many of the PLSS corners.

 

Happy Holidays,

CallawayMT

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Topo maps are set up in Township,Section and Range.

Thus their measurements should be from the Initial Point.

Example:

This is the 5th Principal Meridian.

5TH PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN LOUISIANA PURCHASE

 

The math and numbers start out correctly.

This is where the Township,Section and Range Lines come from to start with.

Range lines run east and west from Initial Point

Range 1 West is 6 miles West of the Initial point.

Range 1 East is 6 miles East of the Initial Point.

 

That is the definition for RANGE LINES.®(RNG).

 

Township lines run North and South of the Initial Point.

Township 1 North is 6 miles North of Initial Point.

Township 1 South is 6 miles South of Initial Point.

 

That is the definition of TOWNSHIP LINES (T)(TWP).

After you have a Township 6x6 miles these are divided into 36 Sections 1-36(S)SECT).

These sections are 1x1 mile as square as can be due to the convergency of the meridians at the poles that is where the correction lines come in.

 

Now we all may or may not of heard of tent surveys.

I will let you look that one up and figure it out,pretty self explanitiory though.

 

Then Correction lines were run every 24 and in Older States 36 miles from the Initial Point.

 

This is still just a skiff off of what all we are in for in this discussion.

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the BLM has been working on the Geographic Coordinate Data Base for many years now and they have attributed geodetic positions to the PLSS corners, but these are a computed value, not an absolute value. They are based on digitizing the USGS quads for controlling the original notes and then ultimately controlling all of the corners; the problem is that if poor control is used then the computed values are just as bad if not worse. Many areas of the country are working on improving this data base and getting more accurate positions all the time.

Thanks very much for this information and the rest of your posting. I recently met someone who has been searching for land survey marks as part of a forestry survey. He pointed me to the database we discussed in the previous thread about the PLSS. I'll have to ask him how useful that database has been to him and how much he has had to rely on the original GLO notes to actually find the section, 1/4 section, etc. corner marks.

 

Patty

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Probably referring to fraudulent surveys where the deputy never left his tent if he even went into the field. I think they were rare and usually detected and corrected.

 

BINGO!

But not always!

 

After many discussions with the BLM about some inaccuracies in the PLSS I was given that term as part of the reasoning behind what I was(am) researching.

And the error's,inacurate positions etc,etc involved.

 

"It may have been a tent survey!"

May first response back was what in the Heck is that??

 

The only way I had or could afford to have in depth data was to procure it myself.

I have all the Original GLO Plats,Maps and Notes for what I am referring.

All my other work is based around the same concept and theories.

It all fits mathematically.

 

But some are not willing to accept the Old Markers as the True Corners they were intended to represent.

There are many Old blaze and Corner trees that still remain if searched for in the proper manner.

That means recalibrating everything back to the original survey.

 

One other note:

Since I am not registered my work is not considered worthy in some realms.

But math is math and the Law is the Law.

2+2 still equals 4.

Departures in Latitude and Longitude are still figured the same,it is just easier with a GPS in hand instead of by calculator or hand.

 

If you follow the rules you will find many things that will try your mind and patience but follow through is a good teacher.

 

Another thing I have found is that up until the time of GPS long Baselines were almost impossible,now we can do longer baseline with better results.

 

One of my major concerns about becoming registered is I have to tell the public the truth.

I can not and will not perpetuate something that is not true.

 

I assure you by the time we get this all discussed out we will all be much more knowledgable in this field of study.

Just ask a Pro after years of study they are still learning new things.

 

Ok I hope I do not come off as harsh but .....a person can only take so many lies.

 

I am not refering to anyone here I hope no one takes this as anything personal,just want to be clear.

You all here have been my biggest assets help.

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I know ths has nothing to do with benchmarks, but does any know of a way to find the coords of a specific

forest marker? I have the land parcel number and the marker number.Thanks RED INK

 

This thread has taken some interesting twists and made some assumptions.

 

First what do you mean by a forest marker, PLSS corners are located throughout most of the states west of Ohio, but they were set for all public land corners not just forest corners.

 

Second, you have what kind of a land parcel number and marker number? Private parcels can be defined by PLSS corners aliquot part corners, but most are defined by metes and bounds corner descriptions and are marked by state authority land surveyor markers. Parcels may also not be defined by a physical monument, but may simply be defined by a legal description.

 

You will have to give us more information to help you out.

 

Patty & Bill,

 

The section corners defined on USGS Topo maps were computed by the USGS based upon physical evidence on the ground and by the original GLO records to define the corners not physically found. A + on a quad does not necessarily mean that an actual corner was found, but could have been a fence intersection, pile of rocks, pipe or other physical object found on the ground and used to define a corner for the mapping purposes. These were not generally land surveyors that went out and ID'd the corners and so were not official surveys.

 

Patty,

The section corners do appear to be intersections of straight lines, but are not in fact. The lines in each direction from a section corner generally have bearing breaks between them. What Kawenah is saying is that the PLSS corners for the most part do not have high order coordinates attributed to them from any geodetic or control surveys and so they cannot be found by looking in a database. Which I agree for the most part, but the BLM has been working on the Geographic Coordinate Data Base for many years now and they have attributed geodetic positions to the PLSS corners, but these are a computed value, not an absolute value. They are based on digitizing the USGS quads for controlling the original notes and then ultimately controlling all of the corners; the problem is that if poor control is used then the computed values are just as bad if not worse. Many areas of the country are working on improving this data base and getting more accurate positions all the time.

 

So using the USGS quad for coordinates in many areas will get you very close to finding the original evidence and then as Kawenah states, using the GLO notes you can look for the original stone, post, brass cap, bearing objects or subsequent objects because much as we do with the NGS data sheet, you will have all of the information to know what you are looking for. In some areas of the country the USGS quad coordinates will be hundreds of feet from their true positions, so you do need to do your homework to find many of the PLSS corners.

 

Happy Holidays,

CallawayMT

Ok here it goes, Ill try to explain.The marker reads as followsT12N R31W Sec 32N 1/4.The marker is at the s.e corner of of parcel#001-19656-000,which is adjoing US GOVT parcel 001-19686-000-E. I was given a parking coord only n35 40.111 w094 16.910 and told to go 296degrees for 1.20 miles. I the projected a waypoint and come up with n35 40.554 w 094 18.236 and did the 1.20 mile hike, i allowed my self abot 200'

of error distance and did not find the marker.I tried to plot on topozone but really did not know how.I was assuming the local foresty had long/lat coords for their markers, on some web site, making it easier for me.

I did however find the marker today 12-28-07 but it wasn't close to where I believe it was supposed to be.

Hence the question of a web site or Gov't Agency that had track of such markers. This was a geocache

and you had to triangulate off said marker, I did find a pile of rocks at what I believed to be the corner, I

triangulated from that coord and found the cache anyway. still the question remains, does the local

forestry keep coords on boundry markers? I called the local assors office and got brushed off(holiday weekend perhaps). I want to thank each of you personally for your insight to my questios I learned a lot, and did not get the B.S like on some of the other forums. Thanks again Red INK

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1) The quad shows dashed lines for the section lines. This is an indication that they do not have any definite location for the section lines.

 

2) The local forest service office may have corner recovery cards or other information, it should not be too hard to locate the office and try to get hold of the forest surveyor. Due to decreased funding, there may no longer be a local surveyor on the forest, in which case you can try to find information from the regional forest service office.

 

3) There could be something there or not, the quad position is essentially meaningless if the lines are dashed. If there is some kind of monument there, it may or may not be the actual corner. For the purposes of your geocache it probably does not matter. The data given from the parking spot are more meaningful that the actual true position of the corner.

 

4) Bottom line is that it is unlikely that the USFS or anyone else has any other or better coordinate.

 

If they did, it would likely be different by 100's and possibly 1000's of feet and not be of any help in locating the geocache.

 

- jlw

 

Ok here it goes, Ill try to explain.The marker reads as followsT12N R31W Sec 32N 1/4.The marker is at the s.e corner of of parcel#001-19656-000,which is adjoing US GOVT parcel 001-19686-000-E. I was given a parking coord only n35 40.111 w094 16.910 and told to go 296degrees for 1.20 miles. I the projected a waypoint and come up with n35 40.554 w 094 18.236 and did the 1.20 mile hike, i allowed my self abot 200'

of error distance and did not find the marker.I tried to plot on topozone but really did not know how.I was assuming the local foresty had long/lat coords for their markers, on some web site, making it easier for me.

I did however find the marker today 12-28-07 but it wasn't close to where I believe it was supposed to be.

Hence the question of a web site or Gov't Agency that had track of such markers. This was a geocache

and you had to triangulate off said marker, I did find a pile of rocks at what I believed to be the corner, I

triangulated from that coord and found the cache anyway. still the question remains, does the local

forestry keep coords on boundry markers? I called the local assors office and got brushed off(holiday weekend perhaps). I want to thank each of you personally for your insight to my questios I learned a lot, and did not get the B.S like on some of the other forums. Thanks again Red INK

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Ok here it goes, Ill try to explain.The marker reads as followsT12N R31W Sec 32N 1/4.The marker is at the s.e corner of of parcel#001-19656-000,which is adjoing US GOVT parcel 001-19686-000-E. I was given a parking coord only n35 40.111 w094 16.910 and told to go 296degrees for 1.20 miles. I the projected a waypoint and come up with n35 40.554 w 094 18.236 and did the 1.20 mile hike, i allowed my self abot 200'

of error distance and did not find the marker.I tried to plot on topozone but really did not know how.I was assuming the local foresty had long/lat coords for their markers, on some web site, making it easier for me.

I did however find the marker today 12-28-07 but it wasn't close to where I believe it was supposed to be.

Hence the question of a web site or Gov't Agency that had track of such markers. This was a geocache

and you had to triangulate off said marker, I did find a pile of rocks at what I believed to be the corner, I

triangulated from that coord and found the cache anyway. still the question remains, does the local

forestry keep coords on boundry markers? I called the local assors office and got brushed off(holiday weekend perhaps). I want to thank each of you personally for your insight to my questios I learned a lot, and did not get the B.S like on some of the other forums. Thanks again Red INK

 

redink,

 

Interesting geocache, as Jerry explained above the chances of there being any better value for this type of corner other than that attributed to the USGS quad is very slim. And also as he mentioned the section lines in this section are dashed, meaning that they are protracted and do not have the best of data available to rebuild the section lines. Also discussed earlier is a tick mark on the southwest corner of section 33, which means that during the mapping process there was some sort of evidence of the standard section corner located in this position, what it was or is, is anybody's guess. Here is your section from a current quad:

T12NR31WS33-PARK.jpg

 

You can see that you probablyfound the west 1/4 of section 33. At this point, this is where you would use the GLO notes or any subsequent notes as Kewaneh mentioned earlier, to know what you should be looking for. The notes are not available online, but the GLO plat is available, here is an image of section 33 which was filed in 1842 by the General Land Office.

T12NR31WS33.jpg

 

Researching the old surveys can be very difficult, but also very interesting and fun.

 

CallawayMT

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If I am not mistaken,Cardinal set that geocache.

Am I correct?

 

His dad was the Surveyor for that area and he has a bunch of data from his dads work.

 

You may want to make a visit to see Cardinal he is full of knowledge and he may still have most of the maps.

 

He did on my last visit.

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Here is my research into it.

I still did not look up the Geocache.

 

Starting from The 5th Principal Meridian.

2150446945_c21a8b8a45_b.jpg

 

Across the Baseline to Range 31W and North to TWP 12N Sections 33-32

2150447135_0ff2d35f6f_b.jpg

 

If you look the Parking is .250 from the Section Corner SE.(S SE)

If you move that same amount west on the final coords you have the Mid way point(.500 mile) between 33-32.

 

Here is A GoogleSectional Breakdown.

2151238272_3732fd72b7_o.jpg

 

If you would like a KML file or a GPS(GPX) file of all this e-mail me.

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Some comments.

 

The cache description has a link to the county assessor's office data for the land parcels, and you can overlay the topo on it right there.

 

Red Ink said: "parcel#001-19656-000,which is adjoining US GOVT parcel 001-19686-000-E" but that isn't quite right. 19686 is along the road in sec 34 and the gov't parcel in sec 33 is 19670.

 

Why does the marker say T12N R31W Sec 32 N 1/4 if it is between sections 32 and 33? Wouldn't this be called Sec 32 E 1/4 or more likely Sec 33 W 1/4, and the N 1/4 corner be on the north side of sec 32?

 

Red Ink, at what coordinates did you find the corner?

 

GEO, can you explain what you are doing with Polaris over the centuries? The azimuth to Polaris changes in a daily cycle. The direction of True North is (very nearly?) the spin axis of the earth, and the surveyor would use the known offset at that time of day in that year to find True North from observations of Polaris. True North has not moved that much. The movement of the pole is on the order of an arc second and the exact definition of your datum is needed to talk about the change.

 

And this is totally irrelevant to the main topics of discussion, but what happened in the land survey to make you show sections 28, 29, and 32 as fractional? Normally those section numbers would be regular sections like you show sec 33. Did this area run up against some other boundary line?

 

edit: correct sec 34

Edited by Bill93

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Some comments.

 

The cache description has a link to the county assessor's office data for the land parcels, and you can overlay the topo on it right there.

 

Red Ink said: "parcel#001-19656-000,which is adjoining US GOVT parcel 001-19686-000-E" but that isn't quite right. 19686 is along the road in sec 33 and the gov't parcel in sec 33 is 19670.

 

Why does the marker say T12N R31W Sec 32 N 1/4 if it is between sections 32 and 33? Wouldn't this be called Sec 32 E 1/4 or more likely Sec 33 W 1/4, and the N 1/4 corner be on the north side of sec 32?

 

Red Ink, at what coordinates did you find the corner?

 

GEO, can you explain what you are doing with Polaris over the centuries? The azimuth to Polaris changes in a daily cycle. The direction of True North is (very nearly?) the spin axis of the earth, and the surveyor would use the known offset at that time of day in that year to find True North from observations of Polaris. True North has not moved that much. The movement of the pole is on the order of an arc second and the exact definition of your datum is needed to talk about the change.

 

And this is totally irrelevant to the main topics of discussion, but what happened in the land survey to make you show sections 28, 29, and 32 as fractional? Normally those section numbers would be regular sections like you show sec 33. Did this area run up against some other boundary line?

 

Bill,

 

You are right about the call on the corner, I just figured that they wrote the N 1/4, but meant the W 1/4. If they are at the north 1/4, then they did not get there using the given directions from their parking area.

 

Geo makes a pretty picture, but as you pointed out a few of his flaws, none of it would be of any use in the real world. Those sections are standard as you questioned, which shows that is all made up as far as his supposed section break-down. Other than to get the township and range numbers, there is no use in going back to the intial point and you are definitely not going to come up with an accurate geodetic value based on all of his ideas. They look good, but not going to help you get to the corner in question.

 

CallawayMT

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That Sectional breakdown is one I had handy,it should be on the Range line.

The Fractional sections(West side) being on the Rangeline.

 

As far as real world that's where I got it.

Let me break it down some more for you.

 

INITIAL POINT 5TH PM

 

Now following the Baselne west 186 miles. to Range line 31 West.

RANGE 31 WEST AT BASELINE

 

Now go north To Township 12,actually 67 not (66) miles to this corner.

 

SECTION CORNER 33

 

I did it all without looking it up just to see if I could back engineer it with a math explanation.

It is also how the BLM Explains how it was done originally with the correction lines and guide meridians.

 

Remember I am a novice not a pro you guy's.

 

HAPPY............................................................NEW .............................................YEAR

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I realize that only the major divisions are shown on topo maps, but has anyone here tried using those coordinates to look for section markers?

Patty

Yes. In the US Benchmarks Waymarking category there is a Find Type called "Searched @ the location of a section corner". Several finds of disks have been logged with that Find Type.

I could not find this , could you please give me some more info?

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C 1/4 T 22N R 27W S 36

 

If you scroll down to the bottom you see that I logged it the way described.

Also when you submit one it will have a drop down window with that option as well as other options.

 

Here is a list of the rest I really need to update some of them the option was made available after I created them.

 

But they suffice for now.

 

THE REST OF SOME OF THEM

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Here's one source of peoples' confusion: The cache listing coordinates, intended for parking, are given as N 35° 40.112 W 094° 17.109 but then the description says to park near 40.111 W094* 16.910. It appears the cache owner used the former coordinates for his vector of 1.2 miles, Bearing 296*T and other people have used the latter as the starting place. I haven't computed it, but it looks like that will make things agree much better with the coordinates of the section quarter corner on mapping programs.

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Some comments.

 

GEO, can you explain what you are doing with Polaris over the centuries? The azimuth to Polaris changes in a daily cycle. The direction of True North is (very nearly?) the spin axis of the earth, and the surveyor would use the known offset at that time of day in that year to find True North from observations of Polaris. True North has not moved that much. The movement of the pole is on the order of an arc second and the exact definition of your datum is needed to talk about the change.

 

Currently, this annual motion is about 50.3 seconds of arc per year or 1 degree every 71.6 years.

So about 2.? degrees since the Original PLSS Survey's.

 

The process is slow, but cumulative. A complete precession cycle covers a period of approximately 25,765 years, the so called great Platonic year, during which time the equinox regresses over a full 360°. Precessional movement also is the determining factor in the length of an Astrological Age.

 

Yes I know and have been looking into the Universal Expansion Theory.

There are many movements of the North Star.,daily,yearly,150 years and 360 years.

(The pendilum theory has taken way to the Universal expansion theory.)

 

By the way, Polaris could be a name for any North Star. Our current Polaris used to be called Phoenice.

 

I just threw it in for many do not know about Astronomical Observations which were a required part of the Survey as well.

Notes of the North Star and the magnetic declanation are in the field notes.

As well as many other things.

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Some comments.

 

GEO, can you explain what you are doing with Polaris over the centuries? The azimuth to Polaris changes in a daily cycle. The direction of True North is (very nearly?) the spin axis of the earth, and the surveyor would use the known offset at that time of day in that year to find True North from observations of Polaris. True North has not moved that much. The movement of the pole is on the order of an arc second and the exact definition of your datum is needed to talk about the change.

 

Currently, this annual motion is about 50.3 seconds of arc per year or 1 degree every 71.6 years.

So about 2.? degrees since the Original PLSS Survey's.

 

The process is slow, but cumulative. A complete precession cycle covers a period of approximately 25,765 years, the so called great Platonic year, during which time the equinox regresses over a full 360°. Precessional movement also is the determining factor in the length of an Astrological Age.

 

Yes I know and have been looking into the Universal Expansion Theory.

There are many movements of the North Star.,daily,yearly,150 years and 360 years.

(The pendilum theory has taken way to the Universal expansion theory.)

 

By the way, Polaris could be a name for any North Star. Our current Polaris used to be called Phoenice.

 

I just threw it in for many do not know about Astronomical Observations which were a required part of the Survey as well.

Notes of the North Star and the magnetic declanation are in the field notes.

As well as many other things.

Edited by GEO*Trailblazer 1

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